Book Review: The Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Posted November 6, 2021 by lomeraniel in Audiobooks, Review, Science-Fiction / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer-Bradley
Narrator: Chris MacDonnell
Published by Spoken Realms on 10-12-21
Genres: Science-Fiction
Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Narrator
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Overal Rating: four-stars

Fangs of the Wolf World
Across half a Galaxy, the Terran Empire maintains its sovereignty with the consent of the governed. It is a peaceful reign, held by compact and not by conquest. Again and again, when rebellion threatens the Terran Peace, the natives of the rebellious world have turned against their own people and sided with the men of Terra; not from fear, but from a sense of dedication.
There has never been open war. The battle for these worlds is fought in the minds of a few men who stand between worlds; bound to one world by interest, loyalties and allegiance; bound to the other by love.
Such a world is Wolf. Such a man was Race Cargill of the Terran Secret Service…
At one time Race Cargill had been the best Terran Intelligence agent on the complex and mysterious planet of Wolf. He had repeatedly imperiled his life amongst the half-human and non-human creatures of the sullen world. And he had repeatedly accomplished the fantastic missions until his name was emblazoned with glory.
But that had all seemingly ended. For six long years he'd sat behind a boring desk inside the fenced-in Terran Headquarters, cut off there ever since he and a rival had scarred and ripped each other in blood-feud.
But when The Door Through Space swung suddenly open, the feud was on again—and with it a plot designed to check and destroy the Terran Empire.

This is one of the first books written by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and it shows how far she was from more evolved works like The Mists of Avalon. It was an entertaining read but not exactly what I expected. The title indicates this is a sci-fi story but it is much closer to fantasy, and I’m glad that she focused her efforts on this other genre later in life. The same story written as fantasy would have felt a lot more natural, as most of the action occurs in a part of a planet with bizarre races and a lack of technology.

Her prose was good, but I couldn’t stop thinking that this novel was written for a male audience. It was probably what sold during the ’60s but I just think it’s a pity that a woman has to imitate her male counterparts just to sell. I think it would have been a more interesting story if it were told through female eyes, but just because Bradley happened to be a woman. There was also plenty of misogyny in the book, which didn’t sit well with me and I would have expected this from a male writer, not from the author of the Mists of Avalon. Still, this is one of her first works, and I understand everyone has their own path and the right to evolve. I’d recommend this book to Bradley’s fans who are curious about her first steps in the world of literature.

I got confused a couple of times as some names sounded similar and the characters were not quite developed. This also prevented me from being able to fully relate to them. I think Race Cargill would have made a very interesting character were he not so misogynistic.

Chris MacDonnell’s narration perfectly matched the story and Bradley’s writing style. The story is told in first person from Race Cargill, an old legend of the Terran Secret Service, and MacDonnell did not only become Cargill but also provided a compelling narration of the events happening around him. MacDonnell’s narration was very well done, with his voice being a mix of rough and husky that transported me to a different world. The audio production was clean and professional.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Story (Plot)
Overall: four-stars